My dad was the biggest dog lover on the face of the earth. The day he died he had nine dogs. I'm sure he wished he had nine more.
When I was a child, there was an Air Force base near my home. It closed years and years ago - but much of the ruins of it are still there, particularly the runways.
They are all overgrown and lonely. When my son was 9 or 10, my dad and I used to let him drive the car on them. He would drive and drive and my dad would sit in the back
seat so happy. (I know....I know.... irresponsible parenting. Please don't call DSS - it was a long time ago.)
My dad owned Syberian huskies with lots of energy. He used to take them there and let them run and run and run beside his van as he drove up and down the runways. It was one of his favorite things to do.
Before he died, he requested that he be cremated and that his ashes be strewn out there by those runways.
So that's what we did.
Once a year, I go back and visit. It's very, very quiet there. The kind of quiet that engulfs you. It's also very peaceful there.
The first year after he died (six years ago), I went to "visit" him. We had a little "chat" - and then I looked down, and there, embedded in the runway were.....
I swear they weren't there before that.
Today - I went there again. When I was walking back to my car, I noticed something beside my car.
It was a dog!
Now, trust me when I tell you that this place is far from anything. Anything. I scrambled to take a photo but you can barely see him. That little black dot of a thing just to the right of the car is a dog.
When I got back to the car, I followed him. He ran a long way. He was a very confident, I-know-where-I'm-going-and-what-I'm-doing-so-leave-me-alone kind of dog. He got as far as a private aviation center of some kind that is out there at that old Air Force base, but I couldn't get close enough to him to say hello.
Just one of those life-is-funny kind of experiences, you know?